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Half of Seattle students haven't logged into remote learning system this fall

As Seattle Public School teachers prepare for instruction on Sept. 14, district officials worry about the number of students participating in 'Strong Start' days.

SEATTLE — Less than half of the 55,000 students registered with Seattle Public Schools have logged onto the district's online systems since the soft start of fall classes. 

About 25,000 students have logged into their computer systems so far, according to district spokesperson Tim Robinson.

Sept. 4-11 were being called "Strong Start" days. The first week of school was to "ensure a strong foundation for the rest of the year," ensuring students knew how to use the district's online learning tools while allowing teachers to connect with those students and their families. 

The district isn't sure exactly what the issue is. A district spokesperson said they are trying to figure out if the low attendance during the "Strong Start" days has to do with connectivity issues or if there are other problems.

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During a school board meeting Thursday, board members expressed their concerns. One board member proposed looking at patterns of attendance and seeing whether the issues are with individual teachers, schools, or "something we need to tackle as a district."

District officials are working to align expectations for attendance with all teachers and staff, and say they'll build guidance for families. 

The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors voted to start the academic school year with remote learning in a unanimous vote on Aug. 12.  

Superintendent Denise Juneau outlined a remote learning model for the 2020-21 school year until the risk of COVID-19 transmission decreases enough for in-person learning to resume.  

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